The Money Advice Trust has published its latest Outcomes Report, which shows the scale and impact of the charity’s work helping people and small businesses in financial difficulty. Last year, through its National Debtline and Business Debtline, the Trust helped 140,980 individuals and small business owners to tackle their debts, with 1.87 million visits to its advice website.
As a result of advice from National Debtline and Business Debtline:
Alongside the impact of its advice services, the report highlights the wider work of the Money Advice Trust to improve the money and debt environment. Through its activity training the advice sector, working with creditors to improve support for vulnerable customers, and influencing debt policy and practice, in 2022 the charity:
Provided 15,170 training places to 7,460 debt advisers in 2,780 free-to-client agencies in the UK.
Trained 5,260 staff in 68 creditor organisations to improve how they identify and support customers in vulnerable circumstances.
Alongside other charities, secured support for people struggling with rising costs, including uprating of benefits in line with inflation.
In addition to figures showing the scale of support the Money Advice Trust provides, the report shines a light on the difficulties the people it helps frequently face. Income that is too low to cover essential costs remained the most common reason for financial difficulty amongst callers to National Debtline, with nearly one in five (18%) of all callers in 2022 citing this as the main reason for their debt.
At Business Debtline, the report highlights the continuing financial aftereffects of Covid-19. For nearly a quarter (23 percent) of callers the pandemic remained the main reason for their financial difficulty, followed by income shock (9 percent) and business failure (9 percent).
The report also outlines recent service enhancements underway at both National Debtline and Business Debtline. This includes a new National Debtline Partnership, which offers a telephone casework service for the first time as part of the National Debtline client journey. Acting as the business debt National Centre of Excellence, Business Debtline has also launched a pilot telephone case work service for small business owners and will soon launch its AdviserHub, a free online resource with guidance for debt advisers on common challenges facing self-employed clients.
Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said “As our latest Outcome Report highlights, our work, like that of other life-changing charities in our sector, played a huge role in improving the situations of hundreds of thousands of people in financial difficulty last year.”
“With rising prices continuing to hit household budgets hard, National Debtline and Business Debtline remain a lifeline for so many people – and we are working hard to do even more to meet the needs of people in debt, through continuing to enhance our services.”
“In the last year our WiserAdviser programme, vulnerability training and consultancy work with creditors, and our influencing activity have all played a crucial role in improving the money and debt environment. This has included helping to secure dedicated support for help with rising energy bills, alongside other charities.”
“Working in partnership is central to our approach and it is through the valued support of our many partners that we are able to carry out all that we do. Given the scale of the challenges facing people in problem debt, this approach will be more important than ever as we collectively work to improve the lives of people in financial difficulty.”